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Dramatic footage captured pyroclastic flow, a fast-moving current of hot gas and rock, glowing red and rare phenomenon like volcanic lighting as Mount Sinabung in Indonesia's North Sumatra province erupted on 18 January 2014. The volcano was seen spitting clouds of gas and lava as high as 13,000 feet in several eruptions. The 8,530-foot Mount Sinabung has sporadically erupted since September. More than 26,000 villagers have been evacuated since authorities raised the alert status for the volcano to the highest level in November 2013. An eruption in 2010 killed two people and caught scientists off guard because the volcano had been quiet for four centuries. Mount Sinabung is among about 130 active volcanoes in Indonesia, which is prone to seismic upheaval due to its location on the Pacific Ring of Fire, an arc of volcanoes and fault lines encircling the Pacific Basin.
A pyroclastic flow (also known scientifically as a pyroclastic density current) is a fast-moving current of hot gas and rock (collectively known as tephra), which reaches speeds moving away from a volcano of up to 700 km/h (450 mph). The gas can reach temperatures of about 1,000 °C (1,830 °F).